The Lupulin Exchange (LEx) is a community of commercial brewers who regularly need to rebalance hop positions, understand current market conditions (supply/demand, pricing), and plan/manage hop contracts with hop brokers. The LEx platform/venue allows brewers, brokers, and growers to list hops for sale, search for varieties to buy, set up Hop Alerts, and make secure transactions. LEx was built for brewers by brewers. The idea for the site came after spending countless hours managing the sale of over-contracted hops the old way (not fun).
With over 10 million dollars in trading volume, the LEx community has substantially improved transparency, market allocations (a major contributing factor to the hop crisis of 2008-9), and convenience, while providing a means for secure transactions.
Brewers, brokers, and growers have all benefitted from LEx. The Exchange is operated and maintained by the 4 founders and only 1 employee (below) to keep costs low for the thousands of members who make up the LEx community.
What isn’t LEx?
LEx is not a co-op or a hop broker/vendor. LEx doesn’t grow hops, sell hops, or contract with growers or brokers.
John Bryce linkedin
John Bryce is a brewer, entrepreneur, and lover of all things technical brewing. He built his first brewery (Blacksburg Brewing Co.) on a shoestring budget in 2002 and his career continued at several Virginia breweries, including Capitol City, Old Dominion, and Starr Hill. John Bryce graduated from Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei (VLB) in 2008.
Since 2014, John has operated as an independent consultant (Bryce Brewing Co.), helping many breweries launch, expand, optimize processes, train staff, etc. In 2015, he also took on contract work with The Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), where he has filled various roles, such as developing opportunities within the craft brewing industry, developing craft brewers focused programs and content (Ask The Brewmasters, Tech Tips, webinars, etc.), supporting MBAA’s course offerings and annual conferences, supporting MBAA’s districts & district leaders, committees (Technical, Food Safety, Brewery Safety, Higher Education, Executive, Webinar, etc.) & committee chairs, enhancing member value, and various outreach activities, including countless presentations at MBAA district meetings. John is the voice of the Master Brewers Podcast, which he built and produces soup to nuts.
In 2014, he (and three other guys with day jobs) built The Lupulin Exchange to help brewers navigate the secondary hop market. Together, via Bryce Pappas, LLC, John and his business partner, Jesse Pappas, participate as owners and/or managers in various brewing industry ventures, including Sinkland Farms Brewery, Solace Brewing Co., Blacksburg Brewing Co., and The Lupulin Exchange. Many years ago, John brewed his first batch of homebrew with LEx co-founder, Shane Kunkle.
Shane Kunkle facebook
Shane Kunkle has had a lot more practice writing software than brewing beer. That’s why John gave him a call when the idea for The Lupulin Exchange started brewing. Over the past 19 years, Shane has built a number of successful software companies and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at DevResults.
Shane graduated with honors in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. His first professional lines of code were written for radar systems and high-speed buses at general motor’s forewarn group.
When he’s not writing code, you can find Shane with his wife and three sons (!) – drinking rye whiskey, coaching youth sports or working out (generally in that order).
Jesse Pappas facebook
Jesse is a social psychologist, social drinker, and lover of all things beer. He's been friends with John Bryce and Shane Kunkle since their undergraduate days at Virginia Tech. Jesse opened a successful restaurant and spent considerable time behind bars (making drinks), but in wasn't until graduate school at University of Virginia that he learned the true value of a well-crafted beer.
Jesse now lives in the country with his wife KK, son Max, and cat Mel on Afton Mountain in Virginia.
Darren Kopp @darrenkopp
Darren Kopp is a father, husband, software engineer, and gamer. Darren figured out how to program websites when he was 14 years old and has continued learning ever since. Darren is eager to apply his software chops to all kinds of problems, and is currently teaching himself as much as he can about machine learning. Darren also works on open source projects, speaks at conferences, and helps raise two children. Darren lives in Utah and enjoys soccer, paintball, gaming, and spending time with his family.
AJ Hoffer @dochoffiday
AJ Hoffer, The Exchange's only hired employee, is a classic extrovert who just happens to love writing software. AJ was introduced to programming in high-school and has never looked back. With a passion instilled at a young age, AJ continued his studies in college and has built his career working hands-on with businesses, both small and large to solve real-world problems.
When he's not face-to-face with a monitor, AJ is probably hanging out with his wife and son in Lancaster, PA or throwing a frisbee to someone nearby, whether they like it or not.